“You will not go to [the Bible’s] pages for instruction in natural, or physical, or mental science. You will go to them for truth in moral and spiritual science, and you will find it there. And you will permit Truth to be its own interpreter. While welcoming all the real aids which men have furnished, by way of note and comment, you will not blindly accept the views of any other, however great, or good, or wise. Eminent divines have made eminent blunders. And always be sure–and do not fear, but rather desire to apply the test–that the conclusions of your mind regarding the teachings of this Book, are at one with the manifest revelations of Nature and Spirit. God does not say one thing in the Bible, another thing in the lillies of field and sparrows of air, and another thing in the interior consciousness. His voices may be manifold in tone, they are harmonious, they are one in their teachings. The Book, if we read it rightly, utters nothing from Him which is contrary to His other revelations. You will read from it, therefore,–because it expresses in language the highest duties, privileges and hopes; the most sacred promises, comforts and consolations;–in the pulpit, in the study, and the festival, in the sick chamber, and above the dead. And may all its lofty teachings inspire in you the desire and the purpose to be a minister for good, not only to this people, but to the world and the age.”
–Rev. William Garrison Haskell, “Charge to the Pastor at the Installation of Rev. Phebe A. Hanford,” June 9, 1870.